The Apulian culinary traditions of Holy Week


scariella-viEvery Italian region has its own recipes for the holiday: the Scarcella, also sometimes called Squarcella the Scariella, represents one of the sweets of the Easter tradition Puglia. It is a kind of big biscuit of variable shape and covered with a glaze golosa.

The term “scarcella” means, in dialetto, donut, and in its most classical this cake is characterized by a circular shape. According to tradition, in fact, this form brings good luck and calls to the rebirth of life after the winter; for this reason, it also symbolizes the defeat of death that Easter is. Precisely for this reason it is customary to decorate the ancient Scarcella with simple boiled egg or eggs from the shells variously hand-painted; today usually use small chocolate eggs, particularly appreciated by children. The preparation of Scarcella usually takes place during Holy Week, sometimes even in the days before.

The particularity of this sweet, in addition to the simplicity of the ingredients used, is the ability to customize it as you want with the forms and decorations as you like. Usually the most widely used forms are those that invoke the symbolism of Easter as, eg, Dove, bunnies or eggs. Of course, nothing prevents you from giving scarcella also the shape of hearts, location, animals and so on: the fancy can not only be beneficial to the success of this cake, especially among smaller.

Recipe to prepare the Apulian Scarcella

Since this is a typical dessert of tradition, there are countless recipes for the preparation of Scarcella. In addition to differences of geographical scale (There are for example the scarcella barese, that molfettana ...), There are also variations from country to country, and even from family to family! Here below a recipe "classic", that you can naturally customize at will.

Ingredients Scarcella

  • 1 kg di farina “00”
  • 600 grams of fine sugar, tipo "Zefiro" (300 for the dough and 300 for the icing)
  • 5 medium-sized eggs + an album (for the icing)
  • 100 ml of vegetable oil
  • 20 grams of ammonia for cakes
  • 3 packets of vanilla
  • The grated rind of one lemon
  • Latte tiepido q.b.
  • Decorations for cakes (codette, nonpariglia, colored balls, …), confetti, chocolate eggs ...


  • Put the flour on a pastry board, place a mound and unite the five eggs in the hole in the center. Slowly add the remaining ingredients for the dough (seed oil, half the sugar, vanillin, lemon peel for cakes and ammonia) and work well with your hands until the mixture is smooth.
  • Slowly add the warm milk in sufficient quantity to make the dough soft and workable.
  • Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it reaches a thickness of about 1 centimeter, cutting it into the desired shape using a stencil or a knife.
  • Place the form in a pan covered with parchment paper and bake for about ten minutes at 180 ° C. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  • To prepare the frosting, Whip the egg whites very firm and put it aside temporarily. Pour the remaining 300 g of sugar in a pot with water covering. Turn on medium heat and keep well stirred until the sugar is completely dissolved; then pour the mixture into a bowl add the beaten egg whites, and continue stirring.
  • Pour the icing on the scarcella and, immediately before it solidifies, dust on the surface of the decorations you want. Allow to cool completely before tasting.
To conclude this exciting culinary journey, we offer a view of the preparation of Scarcella in a historic bakery in Trani… good appetite and happy holidays!!!

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